Dev Update #21: The Next Chapter
Posted on September 28th, 2023 06:50 AM EST
It’s been a little while, and we’ve missed you.
While sheltering from the sun's relentless rays, we've been immersed in the arcane art of game development. Today, we're pulling back the curtain to reveal the intricate web we've been weaving for V Rising's nefarious future. As always, it's time to find your most lavish silken throne, command your minions to uncork that age-old blood wine cask, and dive deep into the mysterious depths of Stunlock Studio's crypt.
If you’re familiar with earlier entries of our Dev Updates, you’re aware that V Rising is built on a still-in-the-works experimental engine, which enables us to achieve technological witchcraft that might seem impossible to many developers. Taking the gamble on this engine has been worthwhile, giving life to the immersive world of Vardoran that you have come to know and love alongside us.
However, with this system came its trade-offs. One significant point was the inability to update the engine we were working on… that is, until now. Deep in our crypts, over the course of many careful steps, we have been upgrading our foundation. With the much more stable and well-supported 1.0 version of the game engine, it’s no coincidence we’re doing it right on time to pursue our own ambition of bringing you V Rising 1.0 in our next major update.
We believe this change will allow us to overcome previous limitations with optimization and pave the way for a smoother game experience. Those of you who have been hoping to indulge the ungodly power of your rigs should finally be able to feel the unspeakable frames-per-second your eyes have gotten so used to.
Furthermore, on the tech sorcery side, we're also refining our game development tools. This gives us an incredible advantage in testing and iterating on level and gameplay design in a more organized, quick, and efficient way. We hope this will help us speed up future development and bring you more of what you love faster.
Just sit back and watch us work.
As we’ve stated, we are set on making this next major update our full release of V Rising, planned for the second quarter of 2024. While the tech team has been strengthening our support structure on the programming end of things, our design and art teams have also been working hard, shaping the coming release. So…what does it mean for V Rising to be in its ‘complete’ state?
The full version of V Rising represents a fusion of our original vision from years past and the invaluable feedback-driven enhancements and directions we've adopted over time. It means a fully fleshed-out and enticing journey through Vardoran, with a captivating beginning and a heart-stopping finale. It’s pushing forward with a complete vampire experience we can stand behind with pride.
We also want you to understand that ‘complete’ does not mean ending the game's development. Our journey with V Rising continues as long as our players keep returning, hungry for more. There will still be plenty of ways for us to bring more bloodshed, decadence, and terrifying Vampire magic to the table beyond 1.0.
Speaking of which, let’s get into some of the fun stuff. Here’s what we’re looking at adding to V Rising in the next major content patch. Like earlier previews, this is, of course, subject to change and by no means a complete list of possibilities.
Check out these cute vampires from an early V Rising concept done in 2019.
… compared to the final key art for the V Rising Early Access launch. Things have changed!
Prepare for the zenith of your Vampire saga! We're crafting an experience that feels like the grand finale of an age-old legend, and naturally, such a grand tale requires a grander stage.
The ground beneath your feet will expand ever further, and once more, you’ll feel the call of bloodshed bringing you to new places…
That’s right! We're unveiling a brand-new zone! It’s time to venture beyond Hallowed Mountains into dark and icy realms, where history has been frozen and unseen treats await.
Beautiful yet dangerous new lands to explore. Early concept of the new biome.
Within this land, you’ll find an untapped faction of enemies, bosses to consume you, and of course…
The ultimate rival.
The final challenge.
The throne of Vardoran's top predator awaits... dare you seize it?
The 1.0 patch is centered on enriching the final chapters of your Vampire chronicle, providing thrilling pursuits worthy of the immense power you've spent time collecting. It would be fun to share more about this now, but we think it might be a bit more fun to save the finer details for later. You know we love to tease.
Just some regular guys, nothing to see here.
We're also working on some sizzling cosmetic overhauls to quench your thirst for fashion. Originally, when designing V Rising, we had shied away from allowing players to customize their outfits because it felt important to be very clear about what gear another Vampire was wearing when encountering them in a player vs. player scenario. Since then, we added character-level displays, which mitigate that concern considerably. While cosmetic variety took a backseat back then, it's roaring back into the limelight!
Envision this: Customizing your character's ensemble down to the last detail. We're brainstorming ways to craft varied outfits, experiment with vibrant color palettes and potential dyeing techniques, and, most importantly, grant you the freedom to personify your ideal Vampire vibe.
You can find yourself swaying gracefully in a lovely noble garment at a friend's Vampire Masquerade or parading through Brighthaven in an ethereal gown, your scythe concealed, ready to surprise an unsuspecting Paladin of the Light. They'll be too entranced by your elegance to anticipate the impending doom.
Get ready to flaunt your fangs in style!
Bringing an unfamiliar take to the familiar.
As with Gloomrot, we’re also looking to add more cosmetic options for the castle! While we're keeping the grand designs under wraps, your suggestions are the heartblood of our darkest innovations. We want you to have the castle of your dreams, so tell us all of them.
Also, you may want to sit down for this one, but… oh, wait, you can’t sit in chairs in V Rising.
It’s time to crank up the heat and delve into a more immersive experience! Here’s where things get a bit spicier and a lot more experiential.
Another significant revamp is on the horizon for the spell and progression unlocks. We've noted a recurring sentiment: V Rising's gameplay can feel a little repetitive at multiple playthroughs, especially for you vampires who spent hundreds or even thousands of hours in Vardoran.
You always have access to the exact same arsenal at the exact same points in the game. While such linearity works wonders for tech progression, it dulls the magic for spell unlocks. You're essentially revisiting each stage with a déjà vu toolkit. Moreover, late-game spells and ultimates often get overshadowed, and the current dominance of "merciless charge" in the early mid-game is a testament to this.
We're focusing on broadening spell accessibility early in the game, possibly separating the bond between learning specific spells and V Bloods. This doesn’t mean you’ll lose the feeling of draining the power from your foes to add to your own but instead looks to indulge that feeling in a way that’s more flexible for gameplay. We’re still figuring out the details, but it will include other advantages, such as allowing us to more freely chase our inspirations to design V Bloods without having to design a spell to fit them and vice versa. This change could mean more build variety at every stage of V Rising, but it also allows us to add spells and V Blood bosses whenever the creative thirst strikes!
Whatever route we take for unlocking talents, fresh blood from new challengers is always a cherished ingredient!
Last but not least, something you've clamored for is inching closer to reality: live events! When you’re reaching the apex of your vampire journey, you’ll find the new area bustling with spontaneous happenings, beckoning you out from your cozy castle for some tasty treats. Engage in alliances or face-offs with other Vampires, collecting valuable resources and bonuses crucial for the game's advanced stages. These living events, if all goes well, could pave the way for dynamic events bursting to life all across Vardoran! While we're still finetuning the mechanics and determining what will make the cut for the 1.0 patch, rest assured, our focus is on making Vardoran a more vibrant and unpredictable playground for the full release - both for PvE and PvP.
A concept of something itching to beat you to the bite!
And yes… whispers abound about weapon additions. Though some savvy players have uncovered potential leads and might think they've deciphered some clues, be wary, as not every hint is a revelation. There is, however, a specific weapon we're especially keen on, one that's yet to be discovered by you clever bunch of skulkers.
Brace yourself for new weapons, a unique biome, new enemies and bosses, live events, revamped spell mechanics, enhanced character customization, an epic finale, and more as V Rising unveils its grandeur in 2024. Stay tuned for more about this and other well-kept secrets in upcoming blogs!
Thank you so much for playing our games, from our first to our most recent; without you, none of this would be possible. With this comes a promise to ourselves and a promise to you that we’ll continue to progress and bring you games that we will strive to make better and better.
The path ahead looks better every day, and we couldn’t ask for better companions on our journey.
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Lots of love and a pint of blood,
/The Marketing Team